Oct. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s tennis team heads to its final tournament of the fall this weekend. All eight members of the squad will compete at the 2011 ITA/USTA Southeast Regional Championships on the campus of the University of Georgia against host school Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida Atlantic, UCF, North Florida, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Florida A&M, USF, Florida Gulf Coast, Kennesaw State and Stetson.
“It’s an important tournament because you’re going against a lot of your rivals,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It really helps you prepare for those same schools you’re going to play in the spring. It allows you to see who your guys and your team can play against at that level. It’s a good opportunity for a lot of our guys. We have a chance to make a run at the tournament. There are a lot of good players but our guys are in that same league.”
Beginning Thursday is redshirt-sophomore Brian Alden who is competing against Erik Halaj of Stetson in the Qualifying Singles Draw. Play will begin at 9 a.m. If he wins that match he will need to win his second round match at 1 p.m. to advance to the Main Draw.
Play for the remaining seven members will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. with freshman Cristian Gonzalez Mendez against No. 119 Billy Federhofer of Florida and junior Andres Bucaro facing off with Mario Samson of UCF. At 10:30 a.m. senior Jason Zafiros pits against Diego Soto of Miami while junior Jordan Kelly-Houston squares off with Florida’s Andrew Butz. Sophomore Blake Davis will close off the morning against Georgia Southern’s Oliver Webb.
“This is a huge tournament because it is the last one,” said Kelly-Houston. “It will be the defining factor of how we’ve improved this semester. It will give everyone a chance to see the best teams around in our region to get a feel of where we stand.”
“We’re all pretty excited and pumped up to head up to Athens and have a good performance,” said Davis. “There are going to be a lot of great teams there. Everyone wants to do pretty well after a couple of great tournaments this fall.”
Doubles play will be throughout the day as well as Reed and Cotrone will face off at 9:00 a.m. against Njal Stene and Didrik Berg of Stetson in the first round. The other three teams received at bye in the first round and will play at 3:30 p.m. Davis and Kelly-Houston take on Wael Kilani and Federico Sabogal of USF. Gonzalez Mendez and Zafiros, along with Bucaro and Alden, will learn of their opponents after their first round bouts. Three rounds of doubles will be played on Friday.
Check back to Seminoles.com for results from the tournament.